NCAA Basketball Pick on St. Peter’s at Home vs. Manhattan

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 16, 2015 3:16 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.

 

The revenge minded home team could have the edge in MAAC action Friday night when the Manhattan Jaspers (7-8, 1-6 away) pay a visit to those St. Peter’s Peacocks (9-9, 4-2 home) at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, NJ at 7:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has St. Peter’s as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -3½ with odds of -108.


Manhattan Won the Last Eight Meetings
Manhattan has won its last three games to improve to 4-2 inside the MAAC, leaving the Jaspers just one game behind 5-1 Iona in the conference standings with 5-2 Rider and Monmouth splitting the two teams, and they have beaten St. Peter’s eight straight times in this head-to-head series. However, the Jaspers are still a losing 7-8 overall and that is despite a Pittsburgh team ranked 97th on the Pomeroy Ratings being the only Pomeroy Top 100 team they have faced.

St. Peter’s evened its overall record at 9-9 by being the winning NCAA Basketball pick 62-61 on the road at Monmouth on Wednesday, handing the Hawks just their second conference loss. This appears to be a much more important game for the Peacocks too as they are only 3-4 inside the conference, so they look to ride the momentum of the Monmouth win to try and get into the MAAC race, not to mention seeking revenge on Manhattan for the last eight meetings!


Disappointing Jaspers’ Offense
And remember that St. Peter’s is actually favored to get that eight-time revenge here as this Manhattan team is not as good as the teams that ran up that head-to-head streak and certainly not as good as the team that won the MAAC last season to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, where the Jaspers gave Louisville battle before falling 71-64 in the second round.

The difference is that Manhattan team shot the ball and crashed the offensive glass well, while this season’s team does neither. The Jaspers are 258th in the country in offensive efficiency and 156th in effective field goal percentage at 49.2 percent, and they are not giving themselves many second chances by ranking only 244th in offensive rebounding percentage at 29.0 percent vs. a national average of 31.2 percent.

On top of that Manhattan has been extremely sloppy with the basketball ranking 315th in offensive turnover percentage at 22.5 percent vs. a national average of 19.7 percent. And then there is the schedule, as the Jaspers have faced just one Pomeroy 100 team as mentioned and just barely so, and the highest ranked Pomeroy team Manhattan has beaten so far was 151st ranked Canisius.

That makes the overall losing record concerning, especially the two conference losses to 285th ranked Fairfield and 294th ranked Niagara, bringing to question the legitimacy of the 4-2 conference mark.


Ranked 50 Spots Higher on Pomeroy
As if that was not enough of a red flag, consider also that despite St. Peter’s being 3-4 in conference, it is the Peacocks that are ranked 50 spots higher on Pomeroy at 160th overall compared to a 210th ranking for the Jaspers! Yes we get that the eighth straight Manhattan win in this series was one of the Peacock’s four MAAC losses at Riverdale 68-63 nine days ago, but the talent level between the teams is not close enough for St. Peter’s to now get that revenge at home.

For starters St. Peter’s is the better defensive team this year allowing just 59.8 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting, so given the struggles of the Manhattan offense so far, we are not sure how the Jaspers will generate much offense.

The Peacocks are not overwhelming in any one area, but they are in the top 100 nationally in defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage allowed, defensive turnover percentage, defensive rebounding percentage, two-point defense and three-point defense. In other words, while the Peacocks are not an elite defensive team, they do everything well grading out above the national average in all of those areas.

Granted the offense is behind the offense but one thing St. Peter’s does well there is get to the foul line. The Peacocks are an excellent 27th nationally in FTA/FGA ratio at 45.6 percent vs. a national average of 37.3 percent, so they should get ample opportunities to extend leads with the clock stopped, which is important when betting favorites.


Trouble on the Road
Finally, Manhattan is just 1-6 straight up in true road games this season while getting outscored by -8.0 points in those contests. Furthermore, if you take away the lone road win by three points at Canisius, the six losses have been by an average of nearly double-digits, at -9.83 points per game.

Thus this looks like a golden opportunity for St. Peter’s to snap its eight-game losing streak to Manhattan at home in Jersey City, so look for the Peacocks to do just that with a rather safe win on Friday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Peter’s -3½ (-108)